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Farming

FUW honours RABI champion

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fuw1RECENTLY-RETIRED Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) regional officer for Wales Erys Hughes was honoured by the Farmers’ Union of Wales at the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd last week, when he was presented with the union’s annual external award for services to the agricultural industry in Wales. 

Mr Hughes joined RABI in May 1999 as a part-time regional welfare officer looking after beneficiaries in Wales and joined the fundraising, marketing and communications team on a full-time basis in September 2001. Paying tribute to the contribution of Mr Hughes to Welsh farming for so many years, FUW president Emyr Jones said: “It is highly significant that the nominations for this award are made by the union’s members throughout Wales and then our county branches vote on each nomination. “This ensures those who receive the award are very worthy recipients and can be assured they have the strong support of a huge number of Welsh farmers. Therefore, I am delighted to present Erys with this award today. “The work RABI does for farming families in Wales is invaluable. We have seen extreme weather such as drought, rain, floods, heavy snow, and more floods making recent years the most challenging for farming families and RABI have, since 2001 when foot and mouth wreaked havoc, supported farming families in Wales totaling over one million pounds in grants. “Erys has been at the forefront of these efforts here in Wales and for this we thank him today.” Mr Hughes was born and raised on a smallholding and even today he assists close family during some of the busy periods of the farming calendar. He worked for over 30 years for three county councils in Wales in positions including mental welfare officer, social worker and senior social worker. He is a founder member and chairperson for a number of years of the Welshpool branch of MIND, an active committee member of the Mid Wales branch of RELATE and a regular member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal which involved sitting on appeals usually on a monthly basis. RABI chief executive Paul Burrows said: “Erys has certainly raised the profile and awareness of RABI since he became the charity’s first regional manager for Wales. “His charming and persuasive personality certainly helped him become well-known across the whole of Wales and in addition to promoting the work of RABI he helped promote Welsh agriculture. He is a gentleman and a true professional. “The overall impact of the last three years means it may take many farmers years to recover their losses. This is in addition to the economic effect of other problems we help people with such as illness, accidents, family breakdown, bereavement, and animal disease such as bovine TB, or simply the inability to make a living from their business, or survive comfortably in retirement. “Throughout 2013 we gave £393,322.00 to help farming families in Wales. “Even the best-managed business can be hit by unexpected events, and farms of all sizes, all over the country, have been affected, with the impact falling on owner farmers, tenant farmers and farm workers as well as their families.

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Farming

Government won’t be able to blame Brussels

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BREXIT could have British farmers reap the benefits of international trade thanks to a leading British product, National Farmers Union vice-president Stuart Roberts suggested.

Brexit could help British farmers take on a leading role on the world stage thanks to great dairy and meat products created in the country, according to Mr Roberts. Asked whether leaving the EU could benefit the farming industry, the National Farming Union (NFU) vice-president insisted Brexit will offer the UK more freedom to trade with the rest of the world.

Speaking to talkRADIO, Mr Roberts said: “There are several benefits. If we talk about trade, there are certain parts of the world where I think we can have some real positive trade deals.

“Our dairy products, for example, are ones that we can lead the world on, we can add value to.
“When you look at our sustainable meat production in this country, people are crying out for this around the world. I think there are some opportunities in trade.”

The NFU vice-president also suggested leaving the European Union will grant the UK to have full control over farming regulations in the future.

Mr Roberts also said Brexit will force British politicians to be more “accountable” for the decisions they will take in the coming years.

He continued: “There are also opportunities in terms of the regulatory environment.
“We are now, at least, in a position where the politicians in this country will make the decisions and be responsible for it.

“They can’t blame someone else, they can’t pass the buck. In every aspect of society, probably for all of us, it was convenient to blame Brussels for things.

“Going forward people are going to have to be more accountable.”

The UK will no longer abide by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) at the end of the transition period scheduled to conclude on December 31, 2020.

in December 2019, former Chancellor Sajid Javid announced farmers could enter the new year with confidence that they will be able to “thrive” after Brexit after he confirmed just under £3 billion of funding for 2020.
The cash – to be spread over two years – will be used to support farmers once all Brexit phases have concluded and the CAP direct payments scheme ends next year.

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Farming

Young hill farmer stars in £250,000 campaign

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AN ACCOMPLISHED young farmer from the Ceiriog valley is starring in a nation-wide campaign promoting PGI Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef.

Caryl Hughes, who farms in partnership with her family near Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, features in Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC)’s latest campaign.

The £250,000 campaign was announced in November 2019 by HCC Chair Kevin Roberts at the annual HCC Conference and will focus on Welsh red meat’s sustainable qualities. The campaign will include radio and tv advertising, on-demand tv advertising, print advertising and media partnerships. It will also feature core messages around Wales’ sustainable red meat production focusing on elements such as – landscape, climate and water usage.

The television advert sees Caryl at home on her farm in Ceiriog valley and displays the dramatic landscapes and natural surroundings where Caryl rears her own flock.

Caryl is a familiar face within Welsh agriculture; having previously held the role of National Sheep Association Young Ambassador and Montgomery YFC Chair.

Caryl has a degree in Agriculture from Aberystwyth University and, notably, was the first person to undertake the Llyndy Isaf Scholarship with the National Trust – where she managed a Snowdonia hill farm for a year combining sustainable farming practices with managing the outstanding natural environment.

Having also competed on S4C’s Fferm Factor, Caryl is also someone comfortable both on film and in the field.
Commenting on the campaign, Caryl said ‘Like most Welsh sheep and beef farmers, I am very proud of our industry, the food we produce and how we produce it. I’m very pleased to be involved in this campaign promoting exactly that.’

HCC’s Market Development Manager Rhys Llywelyn commented ‘We wanted the real, authentic voices of Welsh farming to star in this campaign to show the real picture of Welsh red meat production.’

‘Caryl’s knowledge, passion and experience are undeniable and she is a very credible ambassador for our industry and produce. We’re sure viewers and consumers at home will find Caryl very relatable and engaging in this advert’
HCC’s new campaign launched on Thursday, February 13, and can be seen and heard on on-demand television platforms and radio stations throughout England and Wales.

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Farming

FUW reminds members about SAF

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IT’s that time of year again when we start thinking about Single Application Forms (SAF).

The application window opens on Monday, March 2, and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is reminding its members that county staff are here to help and ready to take the stress of filling the form away from you.

The FUW provides this service exclusively to all paid-up members as part of their membership package, which has proved invaluable for thousands of members over the years – saving them time and a paperwork-headache.

FUW Membership and Operations Manager Caryl Roberts said: “The SAF completion process is probably the single most important form completion exercise being carried out by Welsh farmers since 2004, and the financial repercussions of errors on the forms are severe.

“Our staff are not only well trained but very well practised in dealing with the complex application process.”
Since the Welsh Government mandated that all applications should be done online, the FUW is focused on providing the best possible service to its members.

“I encourage our members and first-time form fillers to contact their local office as soon as possible to book an appointment if they need help in filling out the form,” added Caryl Roberts.

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